Cam Gordon still a starter?

Submitted by Dreisbach1817 on October 4th, 2010 at 2:12 PM

I must admit that before the season started, I was a strong supporter for Cam Gordon and thought he may even be the key to this entire defense.  I also know that he is only a freshman who has played 5 games in his career.  But after watching the IU game, even including his INT, I have to say that his play is extremely below-average and really hurts this defense in the secondary. 

Gordon lacks experience but he also lacks a different quality: instincts.  As a friend of mine commented, he still plays like a WR at the Safety position.  He is always a step slow to the play.  His tackling is suspect.  And you rarely see him with a good double when a CB is trying to get downfield help in the coverage.  Experience and instincts are two seperate qualities, which is why I think we could look to get competition from a few freshman, most notably Marvin Robinson.  Maybe down the road, Robinson will be slated to play another of the safety positions.  But at the time being, I wonder if Robinson would be a better solution.  He is faster, more athletic, and he HAS to possess better instincts as a safety than Gordon.  Perhaps testing a freshman like this in such a big game is a gamble.  But I hope we are a bit proactive in our Defense personnel.  Are we to wait for a day where Denard cannot bail us out to fix this broken defense and make the changes that are necessary?  I know he had a big INT, but that one play pales in comparison to his overall performance.  Of course, I root for the guy, and I hope that we can develop him into a good player at a different position-- but not at free safety.

As a Michigan fan, I am obviously excited about the 5-0 start.  Love the way our offense and recruiting has gone over the past month.  But before I cry foul over Gameday not showing up for our game, lets try to hold Indiana to less than 550 yds of toal offense.  This is an obvious message to Michigan that the nation still doesn't believe that we are for real.  And the only way to silence these critics is by winning on Saturday.  If we win on Saturday, no question Gameday will be in town for Iowa.

 

Comments

oakapple

October 4th, 2010 at 2:24 PM ^

Namely, that he lacked the instincts for his position and could never mature into an effective starter.

I assume that if the coaches had someone better than Cam Gordon, he’d be out there. I do agree, he is not great at the position. I am not ready to conclude that a redshirt freshman has reached his ceiling.

Magnus

October 4th, 2010 at 2:24 PM ^

We must have been watching different games.  I thought this was Cam Gordon's best game yet.

I still think he's too slow to be a FS on an elite defense (which we will hopefully be within a couple years), but complaining about it two days after the Indiana game seems a bit out of place...

msoccer10

October 4th, 2010 at 4:08 PM ^

The only way you can say that Cameron Gordan didn't have a good game is if you blame him for the completions to guys he tackled. But the reality is the only way he could have made a better play on some of those deep passes is if he had (goddammit) Demar Dorsey speed. Just because the safety makes a tackle on a completion, doesn't mean the safety screwed up. It could just as easily be the cornerback.

He made a ton of tackles. I don't think he let anyone get behind him. And I thought he filled on running plays and short passes very well. He was crushing people.

jbibiza

October 4th, 2010 at 4:12 PM ^

I think Cam will make a fine Spur one day but for now we have no better options at FS.  Thought he was much more under control against  IU;: did not get beat deep (OK they never threw deep); tackled pretty well (still needs to wrap up more); looked sharp on the interception.

A2toGVSU

October 4th, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

IU didn't throw deep.  Chappell checked down all day.  Did it occur to you that perhaps Cam had something to do with the fact that IU didn't throw deep?  He didnt let anyone behind him on saturday. 

Granted, they were able to complete a number of 15-20 yard passes in front of Cam over the middle, but he is young and just thinking "dont get beat deep; 20 yards is better than 95." With experience, He will be at least adequate. 

He might not have the speed to jump in front of many of those 20-yard routes to intercept, but when he learns to react more quickly (again, with EXPERIENCE) he will destroy a few recievers who dare go over the middle.  Even if those recievers manage to hang onto the ball, they will think twice about going over the middle again.

Erik_in_Dayton

October 4th, 2010 at 2:25 PM ^

Nothing we say on this board along the lines of "It's time to try this" or "At what point do we..." or "This is unacceptable" is going to add talented and experienced players to Michgian's roster. 

Braylon 5 Hour…

October 4th, 2010 at 2:26 PM ^

Cam's certainly too slow from a footspeed perspective but he's been making good hits on guys and I think he's had some bad luck with some really surehanded receivers.  A lot of the hits he's been making should be causing incompletions on an average receiver.  Also, he made a good pick and secured the ball. I wish we had other guys to step in and do better but we're stuck with what we got .

pdgoblue25

October 4th, 2010 at 2:32 PM ^

There is no one else, end of discussion.  We have to accept that our secondary simply is about not losing the game, inexperienced, young, walk on, zero depth.  We're 5-0, I don't care who we've played, ask Virginia Tech and Texas if they'd like to be 5-0.

Motown20

October 4th, 2010 at 2:32 PM ^

only 3 Seniors start, I believe (Banks, Rogers, Ezeh).  If we had some experience at most of the positions the defense could hide a freshman.  Kind of like a freshman QB around an experienced O-Line, Receivers, etc.  Obviously, having inexperience at the majority of the positions isn't ideal, but I have to believe they are getting better because of game experience.  Also, that may have been the best offense we face all year in the conference.

msoccer10

October 4th, 2010 at 4:11 PM ^

color me unimpressed with OSU's offense. I think Wisconisn's is better. Both will have monster games against us, but I am more confident in our ability to contain Pryor than Tolzien. Since our defense chases Denard around, I think they will be better prepared for him running and his passing doesn't scare me.

jmblue

October 4th, 2010 at 2:32 PM ^

Cam had 15 (!) tackles, a PBU and interception on Saturday.  I thought it was his best performance of the season.  Besides the INT, he made a couple of touchdown-saving tackles along the sidelines.  He's getting better at making his reads and recognizing the play.  He was not the problem against IU.  The corners and spurs had a much worse game.

Zone Left

October 4th, 2010 at 2:38 PM ^

This ^^^ seems pretty accurate.  I thought Cam played really well.  He didn't get beat deep and was able to support in the run game.  I think he's a really solid tackler too, especially compared to the horror Michigan's free safety has been for the past couple years.

Young Pretty a…

October 4th, 2010 at 2:32 PM ^

Even though Cam has struggled, I feel he has improved from game to game.  No one to replace him with, so gotta have faith.  Just remember he's a redshirt Freshman with lot's of upside.

Hank Scorpio

October 4th, 2010 at 2:35 PM ^

I thought this past game was Cam's best thus far.

At some point, Gerg's gonna have to take some chances with his defensive personnel. You can't just sit back and hope MM or Banks can beat a double team eventually.

cjffemt

October 4th, 2010 at 10:02 PM ^

Cam impressed me out there on saturday.  I do also agree with a few of the posters about his speed, it is a bit suspect.  This makes me think of the potential pass break he could have had on the TE bobble, where Cam was a tad late but unloaded on him.  I really feel speed is Cams' only major issue right now. 

Now if we wanna talk about potential problems with this D, I strongly feel the lack of pass rush is a big problem.  The fact we rush only 3 and drop 8 in coverage and still can't stop a 3rd and 15 is horrible.  I just can't figure out why we are playing so soft on the outside. 

I never played DB so I am not familiar with the mindset of one, but wonder why we are not up on the line and allowing the CB to interrupt a route by jamming a the line.  I know Magnus has effectively explained over and over the 3-3-5 defense and I believe him when he says it is a strong D, however, as Hank said, Gerg needs to take some chances.  

MAGNUS----how do you feel about a man zone.  Getting the jam at the line from the CB's and dropping the rest back in zone?  OR is this to difficult to install?  I know the coaches have said time and time again how they are just trying to keep things simple, I just am not sure how difficult this would really be.

Blueroller

October 4th, 2010 at 2:36 PM ^

Who else is there? Marvin Robinson backs up Kovacs at bandit. Van Slyke was the second string free safety till he broke his collarbone. The backup at free safety now is Ray Vinopal, an undersized true freshman in one of the lowest rated recruits in the class.

We better hope Cam stays healthy and improves as he learns the ropes. He's not just the best option, but perilously close to being the only one.

MGoRob

October 4th, 2010 at 2:54 PM ^

I was actually impressed with the way Ray Vinopal intercepted the ball against BG.  He showed good moves and I'd like to see more of him and what he can do.  Wish we could have a 3-4 score advantage over Sparty this week and see him get some more reps.

WolvinLA2

October 4th, 2010 at 2:37 PM ^

I agree with this thread wholeheartedly. I think we should bench Cam Gordon, Ezeh, and James Rogers, and replace them with All-Americans. If we do that, we'll get College Gameday.

UMaD

October 4th, 2010 at 2:43 PM ^

Is a silent commit to play FS on Saturday. He has already passed MRob and Vinopal on the depth chart.  You can discard them along with Mike Williams and Cam Gordon.

grand river fi…

October 4th, 2010 at 2:56 PM ^

I think he's gotten better with each game, he really needs more confidence though so he'll trust his instincts and react quicker.  I'm sure being burned twice at ND has played with his mind a bit and he's playing a bit safe in coverage.  Doesn't have a ton of speed but I think he'll be a fine player sooner or later.

StephenRKass

October 4th, 2010 at 2:59 PM ^

We just don't have anyone else. Remember, Cam got the interception Saturday. Obviously, there are better safeties out there, but not on our team. The secondary play (and depth) is why our DB recruiting is so critical. If we can flip one top corner and one top safety to commit, that in itself would make the class awesome. Sure, Dee is nice, and many others, but ANY DAY I'd take some quality DB's over some of the other guys currently on the commit list.

grsbmd

October 4th, 2010 at 2:59 PM ^

I thought Gordon played his best game of the season against Indiana.  He had a couple of big hits, an INT, and I don't really remember any missed assignments from him, or times that a pass was completed to a receiver that he was one-on-one against (that's not saying that it didn't happen, I just don't remember it).

Timnotep

October 4th, 2010 at 3:13 PM ^

Yeah, also Hemmingway was terrible yasterday... let's ditch both of them...

/s

Seriously, Gordon had his best game yesterday, he looked really good all things considered... you have to be kidding me with this.